New bid for F1 ownership

Reports have emerged today that a consortium is planning a bid for the majority share of Formula One Group.

Led by Miami Dolphins American football team owner Stephen Ross, with backing from Qatar Sports Investment – the owners of Paris St-Germain football club – an investment plan has been put forward to purchase CVC Capital Partners’ 35.5% stake in the holding company that owns F1.

Initial reports from the Financial Times and Reuters news agency suggest that the deal could be worth up to $8bn.

What does this mean for F1 and its fans?

It’s difficult to know the progress of the bid at this time, but one would expect that it is a genuine effort given its public nature and the prominence of the companies behind it.

Any bid comes at an interesting time for the sport and its fans. It is evident that the sport is at a crossroads, with F1’s brand credibility dropping rapidly amidst divergent opinions within the sport about future regulations, fan interaction and financial matters.

Some media commentators have aligned the bid with a move to increase the popularity of F1 in the US, something that has been a long-term goal for Bernie Ecclestone. Although his position in the sport may depend on this bid, and comes at a time when public opinion is levelled heavily against his presence in the sport.

A challenger bid?

It is understood that CVC Capital Partners and Bernie Ecclestone have also been in conversation with US-based Liberty Media and Discovery Communications, who have recently bought a considerable stake in Formula E.

Reuters said that CVC and the potential bidding consortium have appointed investment banks to advise on a deal, suggesting that talks could be at an advanced stage.

This could be an interesting few months for the sport.

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